Guttenberg Library Foundation seeks donations

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Friends of the Guttenberg Public Library Foundation are from left, Jackie Lee, Susan Leonhart, Carolyn Clefisch, Wendy Shea, Jim Schlueter and Katie Beitzel. Not pictured is Pat Krapfl. (Press photo by Caroline Rosacker)

By Caroline Rosacker

The Boston Public Library was the first large public library supported by taxes in the United States. It was established in 1848 and opened its doors to the public six years later in 1854. Public libraries are considered an essential component to an educated and literate society. 

In recent years libraries have had to re-think their purpose and adapt to the ever-changing societal needs and expectations. They can no longer be a storehouse for old books. They have become a vital component to a community’s social and economic framework, fostering connected, creative and innovative communities.

Guttenberg Library Foundation 

The Guttenberg Library Foundation was created as a 501(C)(3) charitable, non-profit organization in 2013. The foundation's mission is to support and enhance the services and resources of the Guttenberg Public Library. The foundation's support is intended to supplement, not replace, regular taxpayer support for the library. 

The Foundation board members include Carolyn Clefisch, president; Sue Leonhart, programming director; Wendy Shea, secretary; Jim Schlueter, treasurer; Katie Beitzel, library director; and supporting members Pat Krapfl and Jackie Lee.

Leonhart stated, "The Foundation is here to meet the immediate financial needs of the library. The library director submits a yearly budget to the city council for approval. We complement that budget with additional funding for extra programming needs that surface throughout the year. We also volunteer and assist with library programming as needed."

Memorials and donations

Clefisch explained that the foundation depends on public financial support. She said, "There are two ways to allocate memorial money and donations to the library. You can donate to the Guttenberg Public Library or to the Guttenberg Library Foundation. Money gifted directly to the library is used for operational expenses. Money that is donated to the Foundation is used for additional services that enrich the current library programming. There is a difference." 

Leonhart noted, "The money donated to the Foundation goes directly into our account and does not need to go through the city budget. The funds are then available for the library's immediate use. If someone is in the habit of donating money to the library as a gift or in memory of a loved one, we ask that they please consider alternating gifts to the Guttenberg Public Library and the Guttenberg Library Foundation. There are brochures at the library that explain our mission and ways to donate to the Foundation." 

Leonhart commented, "The library is a wonderful asset to the community — it brings people together. We often collaborate with Umbrella Arts to bring quality educational experiences to the community. Our non-profit status enables us to apply for grant money that the library may not have access to." 

Clefisch clarified, "We are a cooperative entity that works with the public library. We want people to understand the Foundation is able to supplement the city's appropriated budget allowance throughout the year. For example, if an unexpected programming opportunity becomes available after the yearly budget has been set, we can provide immediate support." 

Book donations

The Guttenberg Library Foundation will once again begin accepting donations for its annual book sale.  Foundation president Carolyn Clefisch explained, “Donated materials cannot be brought into the library proper, due to COVID-19 regulations, so we have had to a make a few adjustments to the donation process.”

Beginning Wednesday, June 10, materials for the book sale may be placed outside the library to the right of the front doors under the canopy on Wednesdays only, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Please call the library (563-252-3108) ahead of your arrival so that a Foundation member is able to pick up materials for storage.

“At this time, we are unable to deviate from this procedure. We hope to reschedule the book sale as soon as circumstances allow. Thank you for the interest we’ve had regarding this event. We’ve missed seeing our loyal patrons,” Clefisch concluded. 

The Foundation accepts

Gently-used hardback and paperback books, fiction and non-fiction, for children, young adults and adults 

Antique and collectible books 

Commercially-recorded CDs (music and audio books) and DVDs 

Sheet music 

Jigsaw puzzles with no missing pieces 

They do not accept

Damaged books 



Law codes of statutes 

Reader's Digest condensed books 

Surplus material from other institutions 

Outdated computer, business, current events, 

Medical, and travel books

Outdated magazines (more than three years old)

Cassette tapes

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